‘Constantine #1’

constantine1As I trade-wait Hellblazer, I haven’t even read the end of it yet, but the first issue of John Constantine’s new DC universe series is already upon us. With low expectations, I checked it out.

The first disappointment is that John is now based in New York. Countless comics are already based there and Hellblazer’s London setting was one of its appealing factors. Don’t worry though, John is still British, and he gets out of New York after a couple of pages to, of all places, Norway.

Overall though, it’s good that Constantine has his own book now. While he has worked just as well as a supporting character and a leading one, he doesn’t lend himself so well to team-ups, such as the current ‘Justice League Dark’.

While ‘Constantine’ is coming from the same writers as ‘JLD’, they clearly have affection for the character. This debut issue is serving as an introduction for those unfamiliar with JC, but also is the first chapter in a new storyline.

The big worry was that this would present a watered down version of the character. In some ways this is true; he doesn’t swear at all now. Indeed his dialogue is one aspect that feels a little unfamiliar, this may be to do with him being written by a couple of Canadians rather than a Brit as he usually was, but it’s not a major problem. They have not, however, lightened up his character traits. He’s not about to become some sort of wizard-superhero. He’s still a manipulative, cunning, smoking, drinking bastard.

While I’d of course rather it was still a Vertigo ‘mature readers’ title, even if it was still a reboot, I am glad that there’s a Constantine book out there, and it’s really not that bad (for one issue anyway). For now, I’m on board. Let’s hope there’s plenty more Constantine stories to be told.

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